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Project History

Projects Completed Before We Became a Non-Profit


LARN volunteers help a group of young girls in the community of La Laguna find clothes that fit.  Credit: LARN

In 2010, the founders, with the help of family and friends, collected used clothing, toys, and other household goods that could be given to families and individuals living in poverty or sub-optimal conditions. Goods were collected from family, friends, yard sales and flea markets in Maryland. All items were stored, sorted, inventoried and boxed at the founders' home. Before shipment to Panama, all donations were moved to a storage unit in Baltimore City. This location was close to the port of Baltimore, so as to reduce transit expenses, and had a loading dock that could be used to load a 20-foot shipping container. The 20-foot container was shipped to Colon, Panama in June 2010. Volunteers in Panama transferred the contents of the shipping container into a different container. The donations were then transported three hours southwest to El Naranjal de El Cristo de Aguadulce, Cocle, Panama where they were stored. All shipping and transportation costs, as well as any other related expenses were paid for by the founders and volunteers.


Believe it or not, this little boy is four years old. He was severely malnourished and riddled with parasites when he arrived at Nutre Hogar for tr...
Believe it or not, this little boy is four years old. He was severely malnourished and riddled with parasites when he arrived at Nutre Hogar for treatment. He had only been in the center about a week and was still receiving medical treatment for parasites. Credit: LARN

In late July 2010, five individuals traveled to Panama for one week. All expenses associated with traveling to Panama were paid for by the traveling individuals. During that week, a volunteer group from the US and Panama distributed all donated items to people living in communities in need. Individuals living in rural Panama helped identify the communities that could benefit the most from the donated items. All donations for adults were distributed to families and individuals living in the identified communities, including Las Huacas, La Chumicosa, La Sabana, El Higo, El Naranjal, Loma Colorada, La Laguna, San Roquito and La Soledad.

Items for children that were still available after visiting all the communities noted above were donated to the Panamanian non-governmental, non-profit organization Nutre-Hogar. Nutre-Hogar's principal objective is to save the lives of children from marginal areas who suffer from severe malnutrition. Nutre-Hogar provides them with adequate nutrition and the necessary medical care so that they are able to recover and lead a normal life within their environment. They were very thankful for the donation of strollers, toys, and clothing.



Our founder surrounded by donations. Credit: LARN


In 2011, the founders and their friends and family were not sure when or if they would successfully start a non-profit, but they were sure they wanted to keep helping communities in Panama. As such, they continued to gather donations in anticipation of their next container shipment.

To prepare for the possibility of establishing a non-profit, two current board members researched the steps required to establish a non-profit in Maryland and took a college course designed to prepare them to complete those steps.


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